Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 105–119 | Cite as

Engineering Analysis and Failure Prevention of a Water Treatment Plant in Nigeria

  • Isaiah Adesola Oke
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


This paper contains a detailed engineering assessment and failure prevention assessment for a water treatment plant in Nigeria. Population data for the university community were collected and the treatment plant was visited. Data on each of the treatment process (unit) were also collected and water consumption per day was computed and compared with standard. An engineering assessment of each of the plant’s units was conducted and failure prevention procedures were suggested. The study showed that the population growth rate fit well with the logistic growth rate to a saturated population of 7383 students in the halls, ‘a’ and ‘b’ (growth rate parameters) were −2.159 and −0.022 per year, respectively. Available water consumption was 76.7 L per capita per day. The water supply to the community could be classified as water to a public area rather than water to a domestic area. Column and settling tanks tests revealed that the retention time of 2 h is adequate for the sedimentation tanks. It was concluded that there is a critical water shortage in the community because of failure of the treatment plant to meet the demand, which can be attributed to lack of rehabilitation of the plant to meet the population growth. Sedimentation tanks and filtration units are to be upgraded to prevent total failure of the plant and minimize the potential for an outbreak of water-related diseases.


Potable water supply Engineering design Failure prevention Adequate water Water-borne diseases 



The total head delivered by the pump when pumping the desired capacity. Total head (m)


Static discharge head (vertical distance between the pump datum and the surface of the liquid in the discharge bay). The datum shall be taken at the centreline of the pump for horizontal and double suction vertical pumps or at the entrance eye of the first stage impeller for single suction vertical pumps (m)


Static suction head (vertical distance from surface of the liquid [water] in the suction bay to the pump datum). The value is negative because the operation is under a suction head (m)


The head required to overcome friction in the pipe, valves, fittings, turns, etc., in the discharge. Friction head in discharge (m)


The head required to overcome friction in the pipe, valves, fittings, turns, etc., in the suction. Friction head in suction (m)

\( {\frac{{V_{d}^{2} }}{2g}} \)

The head required to cause the water to attain the velocity (V). The velocity head (m)


Population of the community


Population of the community (in 1000)


Water demand per capita per day (L)


Water demand per day (m3)


Ratio of maximum sewerage to average


Suspended solids in the influent (mg/L)


Suspended solids in the effluent (mg/L)

ts and t

Actual detention time (minutes) and detention time (minutes)


Imperial value (constant)


Half removal time (minutes)


Initial iron concentration (mg/L)


Expected iron concentration (mg/L)


Head available in smaller equivalent pipes = 3.72 m


Iron decay value = 0.28/m


Population of the community in base year


Population of the community in t year


Population arithmetic growth rate of the community constant


Saturated population of the community

P1 and P2

Population of the community in a fixed interval

a and b

Constants in logistic growth rate


Change in the period (year)


Period of concentration (100 year)


Population geometric growth rate of the community constant


liter per capita per day


Diameter of the pipe (mm)


Number of required smaller pipes (3)

h0, h1 and h2

Depth of the column (sedimentation tank)

R and R0

Total percentage floc removed and percentage floc removed, respectively

ΔR1, ΔR2 and ΔR2

Change in percentage floc removed at h 1, h 2 and h 2, respectively

Vo and Vs

Velocity of flow and settling velocity, respectively (m/s)




Water consumption per day (L)



The author acknowledges Mr. Owolade, S.A and Musa Olayinka A. (CVE/ 2002/051) both of Civil Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (Nigeria) for taking part in the study. I wish to acknowledge and appreciate Miss Juliana. V. Ford of Global Resettlement Agency, Florida, also of University of Tampa, Tampa USA, for her input and support academically.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

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